CBD For PMS | Can CBD Help With Period Cramps? Skip to content
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CBD For PMS: Can It Help With Period Cramps

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Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) includes a wide variety of signs and symptoms from mood swings, fatigue, food cravings, tender breasts, and abdominal cramping that occurs 5–10 days before menstruation.

The cause for these symptoms isn't exactly known by researchers, but it's believed to involve the shift of two hormones, estrogen, and progesterone—two of the main female reproductive hormones.

For some women, PMS symptoms can become so severe that it impacts aspects of their daily lives—which may require pharmaceutical intervention from their primary care doctor. However, a non-prescription and natural compound many women are turning to in order to ease symptoms is cannabidiol (CBD).

CBD has been extensively studied for its potential towards supporting normal stress levels and may have anti-inflammatory properties that show a lot of promise in helping to address pain from cramping.

In this article, we'll investigate CBD's potential uses for women's health, how to use it effectively, and how to shop for quality products.


  1. PMS has a wide range of symptoms that involves two main female reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone
  2. CBD is one of the main active compounds derived from cannabis plants with broad-acting effects on one's wellness, primarily acting on the endocannabinoid system
  3. CBD doesn't directly affect hormone changes in the body, but it may help to support stress, balance mood, improve cramping discomfort, and support a normal inflammatory response
  4. Research surrounding CBD for PMS symptoms is still new and requires more exploration, but that hasn't stopped many people from reaching for CBD products to reduce PMS symptoms
  5. CBD is a versatile compound that can be used both internally and topically to support women's health
  6. Always shop for CBD products from trusted brands that practice honesty and integrity with their manufacturing of CBD oil

What Is Premenstrual Syndrome?

The drastic changes in female reproductive hormone levels can trigger a range of effects that put women more at risk for bloating, irritability, fatigue, and cramping. 

Before we jump into the details of PMS symptoms and CBD's potential benefits, it's helpful to understand the menstrual cycle with a short introduction.

The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, and it consists of these 3 phases:

  1. The Follicular Phase: Occurs between the first day of the period and ovulation. Estrogen levels rise to stimulate the ovaries to produce follicles—one of which will mature into an egg. The growth of follicles signals the uterus lining to thicken in anticipation of a pregnancy.
  2. Ovulation: Takes place mid-cycle (2-weeks before mensuration) as the release of a mature egg from the ovary. Ovulation is triggered by high levels of luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. The egg travels from the fallopian tube to the uterus.
  3. Luteal Phase: The follicle where the egg had come from stays on the surface of the ovary and transforms into the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum releases progesterone and small amounts of estrogen to thicken the uterine lining (endometrium) in preparation to nourish a fertilized egg.
  4. Mensuration: Occurs on the last day of the cycle. The lifespan of an egg in the uterus is only 24 hours unless it's fertilized by sperm. If this doesn't happen, menstruation begins. The endometrium undergoes programmed cell death and the tissue is shed through the vagina. During mensuration, estrogen and progesterone levels decline.

According to the U.S Department of Health & Human Services, 90% of women experience some premenstrual symptoms, and on average women in their 30s are more likely to experience PMS. 

While most females report experiencing some symptoms that don't drastically affect their daily routines, some of these symptoms can become so severe that it forces them to miss important commitments like school and work.

What Is Premenstrual Syndrome?

Common PMS Symptoms

PMS symptoms typically occur a week before mensuration and can last up to a week after the first day of starting one's period.

Some of the common PMS symptoms include:

  • Acne
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Tender breasts
  • Food cravings
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Moodiness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

It's believed that the fluctuation in hormones during the phases directly relates to these symptoms, especially when it comes to changes in mood, anxiety, and bloating.

Some genetics and lifestyle factors may contribute to the severity of these symptoms, and if you experience severe mood disorders or pain that start to affect your daily functioning, you should see your doctor.

How Can CBD Oil Help With PMS?

How Can CBD Oil Help With PMS?

We want to clarify that there is no CBD product out there is FDA-approved to treat, mitigate, or cure PMS symptoms, and there's still a lot of research needed to understand CBD's relation to PMS—PMS is too complex for one single compound to tackle on its own.

However, some people anecdotally report success in using this cannabinoid to make their PMS more comfortable. 

Cannabidiol belongs to a class of phytochemicals called cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. Unlike its notorious counterpart, THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD is non-intoxicating and may have more potential towards supporting one's mood, inflammation, and pain perception.

Let's get into some of the research.

1. CBD May Help To Balance Mood

Mood swings are often brought up when discussing PMS. When the body releases an egg, estrogen and progesterone levels decline, which also influence serotonin levels. Serotonin is a key hormone and neurotransmitter that regulates our mood and sense of happiness.

CBD doesn't directly affect hormone levels, but it has been shown to indirectly regulate serotonin levels. 

Anandamide is a naturally occurring cannabinoid that the body produces. It's also nick-named the "bliss molecule." Anandamide binds to CB1 receptors in the brain, which regulates the serotonin system [1].

Because of CBD's particular shape, it doesn't have an affinity to bind to CB1 receptors, but it does help to increase anandamide levels in the body by inhibiting the release of enzymes that break down the bliss molecule. On top of this, CBD has also been observed to increase the CB1 and CB2 receptor sensitivity to cannabinoids [2].

2. CBD May Have Muscle Relaxing Properties To Reduce Tension

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a complex signaling system that helps to keep the body in homeostasis for optimum function. One of the ECS' actions is to control muscle spasms and the pain associated with them. Unlike muscle relaxant medication, CBD doesn't numb pain. Instead, it strengthens the signaling in the ECS to get to the root of the cramping.

As we mentioned earlier, there isn't a lot of significant research supporting CBD on premenstrual cramping. 

Most of the research surrounding CBD as a muscle relaxant is conducted on multiple sclerosis—an autoimmune disease that attacks the protective layering of nerve cells resulting in muscle spasms and loss of coordination, patients with promising results [3].

3. CBD May Help With PMS Discomfort

One of the most popular reasons people reach for CBD is for pain relief.

Medical cannabis research surrounding cannabinoids use as a pain-reliever found that CBD to be effective at blocking pain signals without hijacking the reward center of the brain, making it less prone to substance abuse [4].

During your period, the uterus contracts to expel the lining and a release of a hormone-like substance called prostaglandins also triggers inflammation to the site, causing painful abdominal cramping.

How To Use CBD For PMS Discomfort

How To Use CBD For PMS Discomfort

CBD is an incredibly versatile compound that's been used both internally (CBD oil, gummiessmokables, and teas) and topically (creams, lotions, balms) for inflammatory support, mood regulation, and relief from all sorts of discomfort.

When it comes to using CBD for PMS there are 3 main things to be aware of:

1. Hemp Quality

The quality of the hemp source and its manufacturing is crucial to making effective CBD products. Unfortunately, not all CBD brands are in it for the right reasons, which is why where you buy CBD products is just as important as the application itself.

Shop for brands that are transparent about their hemp sourcing and manufacturing practices. Hemp can be grown just about anywhere—but the quality of the soil matters. 

Hemp is a bioaccumulator, which means it absorbs nutrients and chemicals from its growing environment. If the hemp is grown on contaminated soil, it could end up in the final product and add a host of other problems you don't want to worry about on top of your PMS symptoms.

Reputable brands not only market quality hemp, but they also prove it with lab tests that showcase the potency of the hemp extract and its purity. The lab tests should be conducted from an accredited, third-party lab to remove biases surrounding the product.

2. Extract Type

When you're shopping for CBD products, you'll come across three types of hemp extract—full spectrum, isolate, and broad spectrum.

Most experts and anecdotal experiences on the web recommend full spectrum as the best extract type for supporting PMS symptoms. Among the three extract types, full spectrum resembles the hemp plant the closest. It contains a range of cannabinoids and terpenes in hemp to amplify the effects of CBD while curbing some potential side effects. This is called the entourage effect.

Since hemp plants contain up to 0.3% THC, it's not accessible to everyone, especially if you live in an area that has strict THC restrictions or if you have CBD sensitivities, the next best bet is to opt for a broad spectrum CBD extract.

Broad spectrum starts out as a full spectrum extract but it undergoes additional processing to isolate and remove all traces of THC. In effect, you still leverage the entourage effect.

CBD isolate products are generally cheaper because they don't require as much careful processing to preserve the cannabinoids and terpenes. While CBD isolate will still work, you'll likely need higher doses to achieve the same effects as you would with extracts that can leverage the entourage effect.

3. Dosage

When it comes to alleviating discomfort and supporting a normal inflammatory response, multiple studies have found higher doses of CBD (50MG +) to be more effective.

The tricky thing is that the dose of CBD is always dependant on the individual. CBD works on the endocannabinoid system to support homeostasis (balance) and everyone's genetics, lifestyle, and PMS may affect how much CBD you need.

If you're new to CBD, it's recommended to start with low doses and build your way up to higher doses to allow your endocannabinoid system to adjust to supplementation.

When it comes to topical CBD products, you don't have to worry about overdoing it and experiencing negative side effects. CBD applied to the skin doesn't enter the bloodstream. It interacts with endocannabinoid receptors in the skin tissue to support inflammation and pain regulation—but it won't do much to support your overall mood.

What Are The Side Effects Of CBD?

While CBD is non-intoxicating and has been deemed safe and well-tolerated by the World Health Organization (WHO), it doesn't mean its' completely risk-free. However, the risks and side effects of CBD are very mild and rare.

Some of the side effects you should be aware of when supplementing CBD into your diet include:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in appetite
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Luckily, these side effects can be avoided by using quality CBD products and finding the right dosage that works for you. Additionally, though it's exceedingly rare, one might wonder, "Can CBD cause constipation?" as a potential side effect. If you experience these side effects after taking too much CBD, you should ease off the amount of CBD you took.

The Takeaway: CBD May Show Some Potential To Provide Comfort From PMS Symptoms

While the evidence surrounding CBD for PMS is promising, more research is needed in this space.

Despite the lack of research supporting CBD for PMS, many people are reaching for CBD for pain relief from back pain, cramps, muscle tenderness, and -mood management. However, if you're experiencing depression or severe pain that's interfering with your commitments, you should seek medical advice.

Overall, CBD works best when combined with other lifestyle changes such as finding ways to address your PMS symptoms naturally through proper diet, exercise, and adequate sleep, and stress management techniques.

To learn more about CBD and its potential benefits, you can find articles like this on our blog and subscribe to our Insider Scoop for industry news and exclusive deals on Neurogan products sent straight to your inbox.


Does CBD help with PMS?

Yes, CBD may help alleviate PMS symptoms such as menstrual cramps, headaches, lower back pain, and sore breasts by reducing inflammation and chronic pain through interactions with the endocannabinoid system.

How to use CBD for PMS?

You can use CBD for PMS just like the regular CBD such as using a CBD tincture by placing drops under your tongue, taking CBD capsules, incorporating it into smoothies or coffee, adding it to salad dressings, using a vape pen, enjoying CBD-infused sweet treats, or applying a topical CBD rub or balm. Consider the desired onset time and duration when selecting the appropriate method.

Can CBD help PMS Mood Swings?

CBD may offer benefits for mood swings by potentially interacting with the endocannabinoid system to regulate mood-related neurotransmitters. Its ability to promote a sense of relaxation and reduce anxiety may contribute to stabilizing mood fluctuations.

How long does it take for CBD to work for PMS symptoms?

The onset time for CBD's effects on PMS symptoms can be as fast as 15 minutes, particularly when using methods such as vaping or taking it sublingually (under the tongue). However, individual responses may vary, and some individuals may experience relief within 30 minutes to an hour.

What are the best gummies for PMS?

Neurogan CBD gummies are a suitable option for PMS as they are vegan, lab-tested, and have specified CBD content per gummy. These gummies may help with PMS symptoms by reducing inflammation, alleviating pain, and promoting relaxation, with an onset of effects within 30 minutes and lasting for 2 to 5 hours. 

Does Delta 8 help with period cramps?

Delta 8 THC may help with period cramps through its analgesic properties. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, it can potentially reduce pain and inflammation, providing relief from common PMS symptoms such as cramps, headaches, and back pain.

Is CBD good for menstrual cramps?

Yes, CBD may be beneficial for menstrual cramps due to its ability to reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and help with muscle relaxation. CBD's interaction with the endocannabinoid system may provide relief from the discomfort and severity of menstrual cramps, making it a promising natural option for managing PMS symptoms.


  1. Haj-Dahmane, S., & Shen, R. Y. (2011). Modulation of the serotonin system by endocannabinoid signaling. Neuropharmacology, 61(3), 414–420. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.02.016
  2. Leweke, F. M., Piomelli, D., Pahlisch, F., Muhl, D., Gerth, C. W., Hoyer, C., Klosterkötter, J., Hellmich, M., & Koethe, D. (2012). Cannabidiol enhances anandamide signaling and alleviates psychotic symptoms of schizophrenia. Translational psychiatry, 2(3), e94.
  3. Peer W. F. Karmaus, James G. Wagner, Jack R. Harkema, Norbert E. Kaminski, Barbara L. F. Kaplan. (2013) Cannabidiol (CBD) enhances lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced pulmonary inflammation in C57BL/6 mice. Journal of Immunotoxicology 10:3, pages 321-328.
  4. Blake, A., Wan, B. A., Malek, L., DeAngelis, C., Diaz, P., Lao, N., & O’Hearn, S. (2017). A selective review of medical cannabis in cancer pain management. Ann Palliat Med, 6(Suppl 2), S215-S222
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Katrina Lubiano

BA in English Katrina has always had a passion for health sciences and literature. She works as a content writer, editor, and strategist in the health and wellness space, primarily focusing on cannabis education. She’s written well over 400,000 words on the subject—including demystifying laws a...

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